From a reader:
On a recent visit to Clark, I made an illegal U-turn. I didn’t see the sign. I was in the wrong and was stopped by the Clark police. The police officer was polite enough but said I would have to receive a “violation” – or what we call a ticket in the United States. The problem was that he didn’t have any tickets in his book. He was radioing in to find someone who had a violation book. As I do in Manila, I rolled up a 500 peso note in my palm and tried to hand it to him. He backed up like it was radioactive and said, “If I accept that, I could lose my job sir.” I was surprised to hear that. It reminded me of Subic in the 1990s. It turned out the officer couldn’t find a violation book so he let me go with a warning. After I was off the hook, I tried again to give him something, not a bribe since I was already off, but a “thank you” tip. He declined again. Whatever they are doing up in Clark, they are doing something right. Interestingly, a friend of mine was stopped in Subic for coming to a rolling stop. The friend is a resident of SBMA so the officer let him go. My friend offered him a small “thank you” tip and the Subic officer accepted it.